(aka "Samaritan Girl" )

 

directed by Kim Ki-Duk
South Korea 2004

 

With a background in philosophy and art, added a touch of catholic upbringing, Kim Ki-Duk has become both one of the most productive and original directors to come out of South Korea, having made ten films over the last eight years. While gaining more and more critical appeal and understanding, he is still largely unappreciated by the general audience, who even in Korea turn the back to his film. Perhaps if he made "nicer" films, he would become more accepted and lesser hated, but that is not what Kim wants. He is not making films to satisfy an audience: "I don’t try to entice viewers to watch, understand, or even like my films." To Kim, trying to please an audience is compromising ones thought, to sell out.

Jae-Young is prostituting herself, being managed by her best friend, Yeo-Ji, in order for them to save up money to visit Europe. Jea-Young is so in love with being a prostitute, that she adapts the name Vasumitra, after a prostitute who turned men into devoted Buddhist by sleeping with them. When surprised by the police, Jea-Young jumps out of a window, crushing her skull. Having been rushed to the hospital by Yeo-Ji, the doctors do not expect her to survive the day, thus Jea-Young asks Yeo-Ji to get one of her customers, whom she is in love with. Yeo-Ji gets him, at a price, but they return to late: Jea-Young is dead.

So begins Kim Ki-Duk latest film "Samaria". Awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for best direction, and being one of the films in the race for Best Film, "Samaria" is allegory questioning both moral and sin. Divided into three chapters: “Vasumitra” deals with the friendship between Jae-Young and Yeo-Ji, “Samaria” deals with Yeo-Ji’s reaction to the death of her best friend and the final chapter, “Sonata”, concludes.

Many have been offended by the presentation of teen prostitution, but one only needs to open the newspaper to realize, that Kim actually has approached the subject with both taste and tact. In an interview, Kim pointed out: "There are over 600,000 teenage prostitutes in South Korea. This means, that over 600,000 fathers have sex with girls who are someone’s daughter."

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 10, 2004 (Berlin International Film Festival)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for all the Screen Caps!

(Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

out of print

Available here in the same transfer as the Starmax (we are told) and with English subs...

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Starmax

Region 3 - NTSC

Tartan
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:36:25 1:36:37
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.16 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.76:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.43 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Starmax

 

Bitrate:

 

Tartan

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Korean, 5.1 Dolby Digital Korean

2.0 Dolby Digital Korean, 5.1 Dolby Digital Korean, DTS Korea

Subtitles Korean, English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Starmax

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• 16 page booklet (in Korean)
• Original Sound Track CD
• Three 'making of' segments (in Korean - no subtitles)
• part 1 (13:55)
• part 2 (8:04)
• part 3 (6:39)
• Theatrical trailer (2:07)
• TV spot (0:60)
• TV spot (0:30)

DVD Release Date: April 19, 2004
Cased transparent Keepcase

Chapters 15

Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.76:1

Edition Details:
• Four Trailers of films by Kim Ki-Duk

 

DVD Release Date: August 21, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

 

 

 

Comments Starmax
This is just a superb DVD presentation. While not a film that is sold on its "sound", it is sold on its "look": And it does look good. Rich colors and great details.

For a non-Korean speaking audience, the DVD offers little but the film and the Original Sound Track. The booklet looks to be very informative and the three 'making of' segments contains both interviews and a great feature, where you see the direction and the result in the same frame using two "windows".

* Note: I have cheated with the titleshot. "Samaria" opens without title (in media resolution) and the first chapter insert "Vasumitra" comes after some minutes. The titleshot is actually the insert for chapter two: "Samaria".

Tartan
Source appears to be the same, as by zoom, similar details are present. Tartan has been tweaked. Colors are more solid and defined, but present digitally flaws when zooming in, in form of mis-coloured pixels, versus white pixels in Starmax. This is not noticeable at regular viewing.

The Tartan frame also appears to be slightly cropped in comparison to the Korean edition.

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 





DVD Menus

(
Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
Subtitles - Captures resized from 1016 to 800

 

 


(Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Starmax - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Tartan

Sound:

Tartan

Extras: Starmax
Menu: Starmax

 

DVD Box Covers

out of print

Available here in the same transfer as the Starmax (we are told) and with English subs...

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Starmax

Region 3 - NTSC

Tartan
Region 2 - PAL

 

Recommended Books on Korean Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)




 

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